A great leap of ‘Faith’

Audiophile

These days, George Michael seems more lost than Gilligan, Hurley and the kids from “Dr. Shrinker” combined. But, in the closing years of the ‘80s, he was a pop music juggernaut. Actually, that’s too limiting because he enjoyed unprecedented success on the R&B charts as well. It’s more accurate to say Michael was a music juggernaut.

When Michael exited bubblegum superduo Wham! in 1986, critics and fans alike knew it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that he would make it as a grown-up artist. The road to stardom is littered with the bodies of singers and musicians who left successful groups only to die a quick death as solo performers.

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It was a given that Michael had the looks and the voice to make it alone, the looming question was whether he had the material. All doubts were gone with one listen to his solo debut, “Faith.” The album, released in October 1987, was crammed from front to back with classic material. It was immediately obvious that ‘88 would be the year of George Michael.

“Faith” was a monster seller that spent a year in the Top 10 of the “Billboard” album chart and spawned six top-five singles. It debuted atop the R&B album chart, becoming the first album by a white artist to ever reach the #1 slot. “Faith” was named Album of the Year at the 1989 Grammy Awards and, underscoring Michael’s unprecedented crossover success, was crowned Favorite R&B album at the American Music Awards.

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To celebrate this landmark recording, Sony/Legacy has just reissued “Faith,” complete with brilliantly remastered sound and a second CD of remixes and live versions. A special edition release throws in a 100-minute DVD that contains a 1987 BBC interview, an electronic press kit from 1988 and seven music videos (re-synched with the new remastered audio).

Available exclusively from www.georgemichael.com is “Faith: Deluxe Edition,” a 12”x12” box set that boasts the two discs, the DVD, 180-gram vinyl replica of the original album, a 60-page hardbound book, five art prints, reproduction poster and tickets and tour pass from the “Faith” tour. : :

info: audiophile@goqnotes.com

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Posted by David Stout

David Stout is the associate editor of QNotes. He can be reached at editor2@goqnotes.com.